Police arrested a man following a Wednesday afternoon assault and robbery of a phone after first helping the victim clear branches in her grandmother’s yard.

She told police she thought he “was going to kill her.”

Officers responded around 3 p.m. to an assault in progress call in the 2100 block of Southwest A Avenue. While en route, an officer noticed a man in a dark hoodie and wind breaker pants walking northbound from the scene. According to the report, he pulled his hood over his head and turned his face as police passed “as if he wanted to hide his face,” the report states.

The first arriving officer learned the suspect had walked from the incident scene using the same path and matched the walking man’s description.

The victim said the suspect had been helping her work on her grandmother’s property clearing branches from the backyard. She said the man was caught watching her change clothes and a verbal argument escalated and the man went into the alley.

According to the report, she told him to leave and when he refused, she threatened to call police. When she dialed 911, she said he climbed back over the chain link fence and said “Give me my phone!”

The man grabbed her by the throat with one hand and held the back of her head with the other, choking her while he shoved her into a shed, the report states. Once he grabbed the phone, the woman said he fled.

She replied that “she was afraid that (suspect) was going to kill her,” the report states. She said she tried to fight back but didn’t want to lose her life over a phone.

Another officer had the man stopped near West Gore Boulevard and 21st Street and the victim identified him as her attacker. He didn’t have the phone. The suspect told investigators he’d stashed the phone while walking. He took officers to find the phone, located in the crawlspace of an apartment near the crime scene, the report states.

He said that, actually, the woman had his phone for the past few days because she was buying it for $50 but, so far, had only paid $10, according to the report. He then began changing his story to say the woman had paid him for drugs with the phone. He was arrested for first-degree robbery.

It was later learned the man has an “extensive history” of prior convictions, including resisting police and failing to register as a sex offender, the report states.

Written by Scott Rains: scott.rains@swoknews.com.

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